Wednesday, December 30, 2009

So I get my car back from the dealer last night

And guess what? They fixed the whole strut/alignment issue and even fix the lighter (which I never use and didnt know was inoperable) but they failed to fix the light the behind the CD player console. Sigh, I have to now call them again and hope against hope that I don't have to get another horrid rental from the Toyota-Rent-a-car place. That Yaris was not my cup of tea! I much rather my heavy little sunroof-having silver, (lane) surfer.
7 whole days in a strangers car, yuck! But at least I didnt have to pay for it so YAY for the warranty! 50 bucks for 400 dollars worth of work and parts!
Anyway, the New Year is coming and I had said that I would not commit to any resolutions but what can I say, I gave in to tradition and had to compile a list of sorts. (anyone who knows me knows that if you put something in list format I am all over it!).
I have pretty big plans for the New Year so I figure at the least, an outline is in order.
  1. I plan to increase my savings by 15% this year. Last year's goal was to increase my savings by 5% and I did it by 10% so I figure I should be a little more ambitious this year, especially since life will not be contained! LOL.
  2. Maintain my dreadlocks in a more timely manner. Okay, I dont have the matted look or anything but I get so busy that I dont get to get down with the upkeep as soon as might be necessary. No one can tell but me but that's enough!
  3. Move out of the South! This is paramount right now. Unfortunately, Texas is doing well during this economic down turn and so I have to realistic with this goal. The move will not come before the end of 2010 for a fact but it is definetely gonna happen!
  4. Increase my freelance writing income by at least 50%. I dont plan to work a regular 9 to 5 a year from now and so I have to make sure that my freelance life can support my desired/necessary lifestyle. I am only using 1 income to calculate the amount of money needed so that there will be a SURPLUS of sorts when the goal is realized.
  5. Cook, Serve,Bank! Keep chef-ing! I'm a Viking in the kitchen and everone will know it by year's end! You already know! LOL. 
  6. HEALTH--enough said! Well, maybe not, get checked for EVERYTHING NOW! Ladies, I'm talking to you especially! Gents, that prostate aint gonna take care of itself. Girls, feel your "girls" for abnormalities or let your significant other check for you but CHECK!

Okay, well this is the loose, vague list of what will be my 2010, if you dont have a list dont fret. Not everybody needs one. Just live a life you can be Proud of. Everyone can tell when you should be ashamed and will likely be ashamed of you (they wont tell you of course but you know when the people you care about are seeing you at your least worthy).
 Do yourself a favor and tell yourself the truth. Now the diehard cowards who successfully lie to themselves may be beyond help but they rest of us have no excuses.
Keep your word, don't die a coward, be decent, pay your debts--the Karma you save may be your own.
Karmically yours
Me!

Monday, December 28, 2009

forgive the Typos

Haven't been here in a while, well since my birthday I think but that is only because life was calling. Well I made it to 38 and ate about that many pounds of food in celebration of the fact. If you want a primo dining experience then Fogo De Chao is the way to go! A Brazilian steakhouse that is not for those trying to cleanse their colons. I posted the pics on my Facebook page if anyone wants to see pics of food (I am assuming that everyone is the same level of foodie that I am of course). At any rate my FB is open to everyone so go on over and take a look at some fun food pics and see how far I have gotten in my Farmville escapades LOL! Well the winter holiday was great, and I spent a ton of time with the extended family. Wait I am getting ahead of myself, let's go back to the day after my second birthday dinner last Tuesday night.
Okay, so my bestfriend (whom I have known since highschool--10th grade) took me to a Chinese buffet and the food was good, until the next morning. Talk about food poisoning. I went to work looking quite green around the gills and didnt learn a thing in my training class. All day, co-workers asked if I was feeling okay and I most certainly could not fake that I was anything less than miserable. Still, I trudged along through the day. Now this was the same day that I got dropped off at work and the car had to be taken in for service. So after the Artist sat at the dealership for hours upon hours they inform him who then informs me that they have to order a part and get us a rental. He makes his way home and manages to pick me up, get me to the dealership to get the insurance card and my GPS out of the car, then to the Toyota Rent-a-Car place to get whatever car they have that is under 25 bucks per day, luckily they have a couple to choose from. We get the Yaris (which I dont particularly care for but is only 20 bucks per day and EXCELLENT on gas mileage. Then we make it home by 6pm which is awesome since I get off work at 4pm everyday and can get tons of crap done before every thing closes for the day. I immediately puke my guts out (even though I have eaten nothing the entire day thanks to whatever parasites existed in that nasty-ass buffet) and I am down for the count. The Artist goes to visit family so the apartment is nice and quite for the evening.
Thursday I am up and ready to live life, I am off work for 4 days (gotta love them gub'ment jobs!) and Mom's is the first stop since all the fam is at her place. We party down! The rest of the weekend goes a little like Cook-Eat-Laugh-Cook-Eat-Laugh (repeat as necessary)! The pics are of course on FB, my lemon pies were the absolute talk of the town (but I've been making them since I was 12 years old). I don't celebrate Christmas per se but my family does and I love to be with good people and good food so I was in Pagan Paradise. I don't exchange gifts but my birthday (and mom's) is in December so I always get something and I always give her something on her birthday (this year she asked for her favorite--bath crap and Clint Eastwood's newest movie Gran Torino). She Loves Mr. Eastwood...
Anyway the weekend was too short but at least I have another long one coming for New Year's  and another family party to attend. Hope you all had a great weekend.
Karma is cyclical so watch your back, Be Decent and Keep your Word. Nothing worse than a Man (or Woman) who isn't as Good as his word.
Karmically Yours

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

fun facts about me and food

  1.  I cook every single meal I consume. No choice, especially right now. All organic, all natural, baked or broiled almost exclusively (I really miss fried chicken from Popeyes!). Wait! I did make fried fish a month ago but I got express permission to do so. Man, it was magical! Sigh. oops I ate at chilis recently because I was over duck and dressing! other than that, I cook at home.
  2. I post almost every meal I cook on Facebook. My friends and I trade recipes and pics. I am a chef (Recently I have had catering jobs), Right now I am a personal chef part-time. I put together dinner parties for couples and such of NO MORE than 8 people at a time. The hardest part has been learning wines (I don't really have the pallet for wine so I have had to go on countless tastings and had to take the wine course 3 times) LOL. Yeah!
  3. In Texas you must take the following courses to get food handlers certification--Basic Food Safety, Personal Hygiene, Cross-contamination & Allergens, Time & Temperature, Cleaning & Sanitation. Pricey and time consuming but necessary & worth it.
  4. I get my love of cooking honestly. My mother was a cook for 28 years, my biological father was a barbecue chef and my step-father was an actual chef for a major Hotel Restaurant (The Warwick) in the museum district in Houston back in the day. The place is called something else now and my step father has long since passed. He made me love reading, photography (I have published photos in 2 local Houston newspapers of the annual International Festival), cooking and of course Writing (I am a published writer with a decent writer's resume and a stabilizing business.
  5. My TV is ALWAYS on the Food Network. Chopped is my favorite show and I watch Top Chef on Hulu, or is it Fancast? No I think it is Hulu.
  6. I keep my word and I pay my debts.
  7. I am no coward and I no longer associate with or worse yet, support them. You will end up supporting a shapeless untrustworthy blob if you even begin to associate with those coward types. Wipe your brow if you dodged a bullet and thank whomever saved you from yourself, I do daily (I really send a thanks into the universe for my saving grace, I hope like hell my words hold them to one another. They kinda deserve one another, I know for sure that no one else in the world deserves either of them. I like to call them the perfect murder/suicide LOL). 
Be safe and true and decent.
Keep your word.
Karmically yours
Me

    Thursday, December 10, 2009

    I know that I said I was gonna discuss a quote from "A Mercy" but Rick Warren is once again under my damn skin!

    Are you kidding me? No seriously? Rick Warren seemed to think that Uganda in all of their murder the gay away glory was "A purpose driven nation," and the man in Uganda who is pushing this legislation, which by the way will see homosexuals imprisoned or HANGED for their sexuality, is regarded as a "brother" by Rick Warren's wife and has been an honored guest/visitor to the Warren family California home.
    Okay, okay, so you associate with whomever you choose. Fine. But uhm when there is policy in a country to sanction murder based on bigotry then maybe just distancing yourself from the guy pushing the legislation is not enough. Maybe, just maybe, you know as a Christian minister and a follower of Christ you should perhaps DENOUNCE said guy and the proposed legislation. Maybe you should support EDUCATING the people of such a region instead of fueling ignorance, intolerance, MURDER and barbarism. But hey, I'm no Christian minister so what do I know about these things...
    Maybe any number of the other Self-Proclaimed Christians in Politics and government over here in the good old USA could publicly denounce murdering or imprisoning homosexuals.
    Oh and is there some reason Cohen cant just come right out and say that he effing fabricated those absurd statistics regarding the predilection of gays to
    gay up the kids and worse yet, molest them? WTF?
    The best he could do was say that with his next printing of the "book" he would remove those erroneous and completely UNFOUNDED statistics involving homosexuals and sexual crime/deviancy toward children!
    ugh!
    be decent, keep your word!
    karmically yours
    me

    Tuesday, December 8, 2009

    Why is every crack pot's first stop Africa?

    Is Richard Cohen serious? Really? Is this repressed, hate-peddling snake oil salesman really serious? He can cure "The Gay" with some same-sex cuddling and a little tennis racket to pillow wielding.
    Okay, clearly I am emotional about this garbage he is dangerously attempting to drag into Uganda of all places! Okay, Uganda has enough to deal with without this clown fueling anti-gay sentiments which by the way are now leading Uganda into a human rights quagmire that is tantamount to the mess Idi Amin left in his twisted wake. Uganda is pushing to gays imprisoned and/or executed if they refuse to be "healed" with Cohen's ridiculous methods!
    Uganda has an HIV AIDS pandemic, poverty, housing and infrastructure issues and this man is encouraging ignorance and barbarism in a place that is teeming with both already. Legalizing, persecution, bigotry and murder will not cure the AIDS crisis in Uganda, education, and information on the other hand will go a long way.
    I am fuming. Watch Rachel Maddow's interview with this opportunist to get the full story...ugh I just know that I am gonna end up an activist in the near future!

    Cowards are dangerous because they masquerade as the brave people. I knew such a coward a few years back. Keep your word, stand for something or at least against something that is wrong....

    I wanna talk about a quote next time---

    "To be given dominion over another is a hard thing; to wrest dominion over another is a wrong thing; to give dominion of yourself to another is a wicked thing."
    — Toni Morrison (A Mercy)

    Here's to shaking off the hate and releasing the demons ( and dumping the cowards)
    Karmically Yours
    Me!

    Sunday, December 6, 2009

    "It was a pleasure to burn"

    is one of my favorite first lines. I love that line. Within it you know something about the speaker. The speaker finds pleasure, happiness and most of all ecstasy in flames--regardless of the type. Is it passion's flame or the gift of Prometheus that elates the speaker so? We don't know yet but we are already committed to finding out.

    See that's the thing about first lines. Whether it's a movie, a poem, a song, or a book (especially a book) the first line determines whether or not we are going to invest the time and effort into taking a bigger chunk out of whatever it is we are attempting to explore. With this in mind, every so often, I try to think of what the first line might be if I were a book of my life rather than a live action interpretation of said life. Would I start off with eerie pleasure or with a compassionate sort of feel. I like to think that my opening line would be the stuff of epics but I believe the first line of my life would likely start with something far more humble like say,
    "It's a girl",
    Luckily we can create our own first line as it might indicate the fascinating bits to come, were one to open the book and keep reading...
    What's YOUR first line? I write and rewrite my story often these days so that I know that I am constantly moving forward. It is the only way for me to stay focused and motivated. It has worked for me so far and I certainly dont plan to drop the process now. Maybe we need a new first line as a nation...
    Don't forget to finish the rest of the book once you get that first line just right.
    Pay your debts, Keep your word, write or rewrite your book, first line and all...
    I need to get cracking on my first line if you don't mind...
    Karmically Yours
    Me!

    Wednesday, December 2, 2009

    I Have No idea what to Title this

    so I won't.
    I watched the President's address last night. After which I watched Houston's Mayoral Debate. I will be voting for Annise Parker and not Gene Locke. He was lawyer for some interesting parties here in Houston and elsewhere and I just don't trust him not to be dollars driven at the detriment to the city. Just my opinion. I will say this, his involvment with damn near every black church in town is disconcerting for me. He is willing to accept money from groups who are oppossed to Annise Parker based on her sexual orientation. I find this guiling because bigotry should never be excused or tolerated and Locke as a black man should know better and be better.
    As for The President, My President, Our President, I am truly and ultimately---torn. I don't want more war. I don't want more troops, sons, daughter, mothers, fathers, loved ones, Lost. I just dont. But I am not in Afghanistan, watching my children, my daughters, be subjegated and trod upon, watching my sons and husbands and fathers die for antiquated ideas, and tyrannical, power-hungry zealots.
    If we leave Afghanistan now will we have a situation of civil unrest as was seen in Rwanda once of Belgium just pulled up stakes and disappeared before stabilizing a volitile situation.

    Wait, I'm far too emotional to keep going in this fashion---
    I was listening to an audiobook by one of my favorite political historians, Sarah Vowel and she was talking about John Winthrop's "A Model of Christian Charity" and how it lead to shaping of this America (albeit on the backs of the indigenous and enslaved). I need to interject here that I am not a Christian. I do not believe that we (America) has some divine, God given right to be the standard for the world. I do however believe that we a good Nation, that strives to be that "city upon a hill" and because of this we have an obligation.  I digress---Winthrop talks about up being a "city upon a hill" and how we should be a model for other nations on morality, just law, good will and above all, Peace.
    Peace. That's what is missing from our rhetoric today. Are we not even pretending to strive for it any more? I heard, much to my chagrin, a lot of what I heard for the last 8 years--fear mongering, postering.
    Now if you tell me we need to send more troops into Afghanistan to stabilize the nation, protect the citizens, and act NOT as colonizers and opportunists but as ambassadors of peace which will require the hard removal of rebel/terrorist forces for the good of Afghan citizens, then I will respect the decision even if I don't agree with it. But don't give me more of the last 2 terms without even attempting to change the tired speech Bush gave not even 2 years ago or not even throwing in a "good faith effort" here and a "peace" there.
    I love my country, and I support my President but I want the thing offered during the campaign--CHANGE.
    I want our troops home, I want families together, I want a decent, viable and accessible healthcare system, and above all Peace.
    I may have to get up off my soapbox and my Ass and go grassroots in a minute....
    Be decent, keep your word---something the current administration might want to consider.
    Karmically yours
    Me

    Tuesday, December 1, 2009

    Hmmmm

    For the record, Laurels Literary Magazine is published by The University of St Thomas (Houston's premier Catholic University) and I was published a total of 3 times in said mag. This was for YOU, and we both know who you are...sigh
    Anyway you can also look up Callalou, which is a literary mag that focuses on the African, Caribbean and African American writer to a great degree. Ah predictability...taste like hate but then I would expect little else for some people. Yeah, I own my shit and maybe I am not the one who needs an investigation (hint-Hint).

    The President's address was..........something. I have some thoughts on this that I am still taking apart and putting back together....more troops, more war, more loss.
    No wonder the VA has all of those adds seeking employees. Damn....

    Be decent, keep your word, and uhm maybe worry about the right things (this means you).
    Karmically yours
    Me!

    Tuesday notes

    1. It is AIDS Awareness Day/ month. Get tested! Know your status and recognize that this epidemic runs rampant in the black community with black women accounting for the bulk of NEW cases!
    2. Check your boobies regularly!
    3. Watch your diet, diabetes claims more lives than HIV and Cancer combined annually! Yeah! Pretty freaking staggering considering how many lives are lost due to Cancer and HIV/AIDS!
    4. Take care of yourself first and you will be that much more equipped to take care of the people you love.
    5. Revenge is a waste of energy and time. You dont have to forget but letting yourself forgive is a pretty good idea---ugh! I am trying to take my own advice on this front.
    6. Don't let him/her make you feel inadequate. Take that negativity and flip it. They know for a fact that without them YOU would do a heck of a lot better in business, in love and most assuredly in life.
    7. It is really nice to have people in your life who think of YOU sometimes, I've had the alternative and lets just say that they are likely still only motivated to concentrate on the most important person in their life---Themselves.

      Keep your word. Pay your debts. Save yourself (yeah, I'm talking to YOU).

      Karmically yours

      Me!